Measuring depression and pain with home health monitors

Steven K. Dobscha, Kathryn Corson, Stephanie Pruitt, Megan Crutchfield, Martha S. Gerrity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The objective of this pilot study was to test the feasibility of using home health monitors to administer standardized measures for depression and pain in a Veterans Affairs (VA) patient population. Five patients were recruited from a larger study of collaborative depression care, and were asked to use Viterion™ 100 Telehealth monitors to transmit depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9) and pain severity (SF36-V bodily pain items) scores on a weekly basis for 24 weeks. Information was received and reviewed by a nurse care manager, who recommended treatment changes as appropriate. The care manager occasionally followed up reports of changes in symptom severity with phone calls; in one case, she called to inquire why a patient was not submitting data. Overall, four patients were able to use the monitors successfully and frequently. Patient satisfaction was high: 5 of 5 reported that they would use monitors again, and 3 of 5 preferred monitors to phone or mail for completing questionnaires. Patients expressed no concerns about privacy. The data allowed tracking of the longitudinal interrelationship between depression and pain severity. However, the monitors were limited in their ability to display questionnaire items, and the system could neither directly compute measure scores nor transfer data to patient medical records. These results suggest that with modifications, home health monitoring shows promise for monitoring symptom severity for a variety of medical and mental health conditions, for either clinical or research purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)702-706
Number of pages5
JournalTelemedicine and e-Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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